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Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand and is located in the national park of the same name in the province of Chiang Mai. At the top of Doi Inthanon the mountain measures 2565 meters, making it the highest point in the whole kingdom.

Day trip from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon

The national park is a very popular destination for day trips, both among locals and tourists. The Doi Inthanon National Park is over 480 km² in size and you can spend a few hours here looking at the waterfalls, pagodas, the highest point in Thailand, and much more.

View of Doi Inthanon National Park near Chiang Mai


How to get to Chiang Mai

Accommodation in Chiang Mai – our hotel tip

Doi Inthanon: Tours and tickets


How to get from Chiang Mai to Doi Inthanon National Park

I went from Chiang Mai to the peak of the Doi Inthanon. From the old town of Chiang Mai it is about 60 kilometers via Highway 108 and Highway 1009 to the entrance of the national park.

The route is very easy and you have to drive straight on road 108 for about 50 kilometers from Chiang Mai’s old town. Then turn onto road 109 for another 10 kilometers and then you will finally reach the entrance to Doi Inthanon National Park.

You have to pay 300 baht (adults) or 150 baht (children) for the entrance fee. There is also a fee for a scooter or car of 30 baht.

The entrance of Doi Inthanon National Park near Chiang Mai

Up to the highest point in Thailand on Doi Inthanon it is still 40 kilometers within the national park. You have to drive for quite a while. On the way you will find many other interesting sights, where you can make a stop or two. You can find out what these are below.

Wachirathan Waterfall

The Wachirathan Waterfall, also known as the Khongyong Waterfall, is one of the most visited waterfalls in the Doi Inthanon National Park. It is on the way to the top at about 22 km (you can always see the kilometer marks on the roadside).

The water falls from a height of 70 meters and if you stand there to take a picture, you might get a little wet when the water sometimes splashes very far. Nevertheless, the waterfall is a very popular destination and photo motif for visitors. A stop that’s definitely worth it.

The Wachirathan Waterfall in Doi Inthanon National Park

If the sun is shining from the right direction into the Wachirathan Waterfall, you can also see a rainbow on the ground. Really nice! There is also a hiking trail along the waterfall and a few stalactite caves nearby.

A rainbow in the Wachirathan Waterfall, Doi Inthanon, Thailand

Sirithan Wasserfall

A little further up the mountain, the Sirithan Waterfall is located on the left. A 40-meter high waterfall that falls from the Mae Khlang River. The origin of this river is on Doi Inthanon.

On March 28, 2002, Queen Sirikit came to visit for the first time. She visited the waterfall a few more times and finally named it Sirithan Waterfall on March 24, 2004, based on her own name.

The waterfall isn’t quite as spectacular as the Wachirathan waterfall, but it’s still worth a quick visit if you’re on the way to the top of Doi Inthanon.

The Sirithan Waterfall in the Doi Inthanon National Park, Thailand

The way to the top of Doi Inthanon

After visiting the two waterfalls, it’s still quite a bit up the mountain. But while you are driving the remaining 20 kilometers, you can still discover a lot along the way.

Native villages of the Hmong people, rice fields, small markets – if you feel like it, you can stop every few kilometers and take a little break.

One of the many rice fields in Doi Inthanon National Park, Thailand

As soon as you pass the first steep roads up the mountain, you will get wonderful views of the Doi Inthanon National Park. Sometimes over the clouds, sometimes over wide valleys – almost always it was worth a photo stop for me!

Above the clouds in Doi Inthanon National Park

The highest point in Thailand

At the end of the road through the national park you will arrive at a military radar station and there is a parking lot in front of it. Here you can park your scooter for free and walk the last 50 meters to the highest point in Thailand.

The way to the highest point in Thailand on Doi Inthanon

Now you are 2565 meters above sea level and at the highest point that the Land of Smiles has to offer. Even if day trips to Doi Inthanon National Park are very popular, you won’t meet many people at the top of the summit and you can even have this magical place for yourself at times.

Tobi on the highest point in Thailand, Doi Inthanon

It can get quite cool on the Doi Inthanon summit. Probably very cold for Thais, but even I preferred to put on a jacket. It was about 20 degrees, but with a bit of wind up on the mountain it’s already fresh. So you better take a jacket with you. In colder seasons, the temperatures on the summit sometimes drop way below the 20-degree mark.

Only 20 degrees on the top of Doi Inthanon near Chiang Mai

The royal pagodas at Doi Inthanon

The two royal pagodas are located not far from the summit of Doi Inthanon and were built by the Thai Airforce on the occasion of the 60th birthday of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit.

The two royal pagodas on Doi Inthanon, Thailand

The spellings of the pagodas differ between the signs on site and the spellings on the Internet. The “dark” pagoda is often called Nabha Metaneedol or Naphamethanidon.

It was built in 1987 for the King’s 60th birthday. The bright pagoda, is called Nabhapol Bhumisiri or Naphapholphumisiri. It was built in 1992 for the Queen’s 60th birthday.

The Naphamethanidon Pagoda in Doi Inthanon National Park

The whole area is beautifully landscaped with flowers. The two Chedis are each on a slope and can be reached via stairs or optionally via an escalator. Inside the pagodas are relics of Buddha and beautiful Jade Buddha statues. A very sacred place for most Thais.

Naphapholphumisiri Pagoda in Doi Inthanon National Park

Up here on the mountain, you can sometimes be lucky with the weather and sometimes unlucky. The pagodas can be covered by the clouds in an instant. Anyway, a few minutes later they are clearly visible again and shine with a blue sky. The temperatures up here, as mentioned earlier, are a bit different than in the rest of Thailand.

Admission to the pagodas costs another 40 baht. This is not included in the national park fee.

Conclusion

A day trip to Doi Inthanon is definitely worth it. If you are interested in nature and want to explore the many hiking trails, then several days are also worthwhile. In the park itself there are also accommodations for visitors who would like to stay on site longer than a day.

I particularly liked the two royal pagodas and the highest point of Thailand. Very impressive and something completely different in contrast to the many dream beaches in the country.

Have you ever been to Doi Inthanon National Park? How did you like the visit? Leave us a comment below.